What should I do If I am involved in an accident?
Chances are, that at some point in your lifetime, you or someone you know will be involved in an automobile accident. In order to ensure that you or your loved ones’ rights are protected, you should always keep these things in mind:
1. Include in your glove box or keep as a part of your roadside emergency kit a disposable camera, pencil and paper. Use the camera to document damage to all vehicles involved and photograph injuries. With the pen and paper, make sure you write down, immediately, the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved. Also, ask the other driver to show you their driver’s license and take down the person’s full name, address, driver’s license number and date of birth from their license.Ask them to show you their insurance card so that you can write down the name, phone and policy number of their insurance carrier.
2. If at all possible, do not move any of the vehicles. It is important for purposes of establishing responsibility or liability that the investigating officer be able to look at how the vehicles came to rest.
3. Call the police immediately and ask that an officer be sent. It is very crucial that an officer conduct an investigation and determines of who are the responsible parties to the accident. Insurance companies place a great deal of weight on these reports and it could make the difference between an insurance company accepting or denying responsibility on behalf of their insured.
4. Go to a medical care provider, immediately. Obviously, if you have injuries thatequire immediate medical attention, get them taken care of. Documenting your injuries by a medical care provider is critical to your case. It provides documentation by a doctor or other medical professional which proves that you were injured as a result of the accident. Remember, even if you initially are only feeling stiff or sore, you still need to document your injuries. Generally soft tissue/whiplash injuries don’t begin to show up until a few days after the accident.
5. Call your insurance company and let them know that you have been involved in an accident. You may have rental or medical payments coverage available to you that will allow you to obtain another vehicle or pay your initial medical bills while the insurance company for the other driver determines whether their driver caused the accident–which can sometimes take days or weeks.
6. Gather all of your paperwork relating to the accident (i.e. police paperwork, papers from hospitals, car insurance info.) And call The Cabrera Law Firm at (575)523-0114. We would be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss your accident with you. We do not charge for an initial consultation – it’s free.